lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

How to Eat a Chicken Wing


I thought I knew how to eat a chicken wing. Then I saw this. Now I wonder how many other things there are that I think I know how to do but don’t.

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Fun Theory: The Piano Stairs

We believe that the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do. We call it the fun theory.

The newly pianoed stairs got 66% more foot traffic than before. I think they’re on to something. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off


TED Talks Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

It’s interesting to wonder what the cost of closing for a yearlong sabbatical would be. More interesting would be to calculate the cost of not doing it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flashflood Surfing in Houston (Pic)


via jarrod-drew

Proof that the surf really is up in Houston, and it’s closer than you think. Read the rest of this entry »

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United Breaks Guitars: Cautionary Tale to Companies and Customer Service Reps Dealing with Musicians

Companies would do well to realize that when you screw with musicians you are likely to have your interaction memorialized in song and the power of the internets means an awful lot of your customers may be hearing that song in no time at all. Here’s the gist of the United Breaks Guitars story from Dave Carroll, who heads up the band Sons of Maxwell.

In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didn’t deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say “no” to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.

The video: (embedded below)

An account of the fall out below from the Times, Revenge is best served cold – on YouTube:

But Carroll kept his promise. The first song, United Breaks Guitars, has now been played 3,515,357 times on YouTube, become a smash hit on iTunes, and has resulted in Carroll’s rather bemused appearance on every major news network in America. Meanwhile, within four days of the song going online, the gathering thunderclouds of bad PR caused United Airlines’ stock price to suffer a mid-flight stall, and it plunged by 10 per cent, costing shareholders $180 million. Which, incidentally, would have bought Carroll more than 51,000 replacement guitars.

The airline’s belated decision to donate $3,000 to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as a gesture of goodwill (Carroll said he was beyond the point of accepting money) did nothing to contain the damage.

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Secrets of the Middle Mouse Button, Revealed!

Farhad Manjoo taught me something only marginally related to his post Kill Your RSS Reader: And use my amazing system for browsing the Web, but blessedly useful nonetheless.

My system also makes liberal use of one of the best, least-known shortcuts built into modern Web browsers—the tab-managing powers of the middle mouse button, also known as the mouse wheel. If you think of the wheel only as a tool to scroll with, dear friend, you’re missing out; the middle mouse button does so much more. For example, it’s the best way to open a link in a background tab. Try it: Click and release the middle button on this link and—in most newer browsers—you’ll see Slate’s home page open up in a new tab. You can use the same button to quickly close unwanted tabs, too—click and release the tab you just opened, and voila, it disappears. In Firefox, the middle button has one extra power: Click an empty space in the tab bar and you’ll open up the last tab you closed, which is a godsend if you accidentally sent away something important.

How did I spend this much time on the internet without knowing this?

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Busted! The sneaky moves of anti-social smartphone users

Interactive guru Renny Gleason presents a taxonomy of inattention in tableaus of us ignoring each other with our mobile devices in this TED Conference talk, Busted. A few of these struck uncomfortably close to home.

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CommonCraft: Saving Money for the Future

Common Craft: Saving Money in Plain English

I mentioned CommonCraft in a previous post, noting that they had shifted from promotional videos to educational content. I really like the direction this is taking and wonder how long it will take for teachers to catch on to the power of distributed instructional media in the classroom.

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Mind Depositor GTD

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Howto: Master the Blackberry Storm

I was among the many who waited with baited breath for the Blackberry Storm to arrive. Like many diehard Crackberry users, I pined for the familiar buttons of my 8800, which I had grown adept at using with nary a glance. On my new Storm I felt ungainly and awkward as I mistyped even the simplest words and was tortured by the random flip-flopping of the context-oversensitive screen orientation.

But I made peace with the Storm and as I became slightly more adept, though I’m hoping for some UI improvements via software/firmware updates. I’m capturing the best of the tips and tricks I’ve found for the Storm on an ongoing basis to make it easier for others who might otherwise give up on the phone altogether. Visit the Howto page below:

Howto: Master the Blackberry Storm

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